Gallery: Stunning Zero Plus Energy Lab at Hawaii Preparatory Academy

Completed in January 2010, the 6,100 sq ft building was blessed (as per Hawaii tradition) and opened for classes in April.
Completed in January 2010, the 6,100 sq ft building was blessed (as per Hawaii tradition) and opened for classes in April.

Photo credit ©Flansburgh Architects

The living laboratory is powered by renewable energy, with solar panels on the roof and a couple small-scale wind turbines on the hill behind the school. The Energy Lab actually only uses 8% of the power it generates, while the rest is fed into the grid and goes to power the rest of the buildings at the academy, making it a zero plus facility.

Remarkably energy-efficient by design, the lab also utilizes solar passive design principles, daylighting and natural ventilation to reduce its energy needs. Rainwater is collected from the large sloping roofs, and the building is able to capture and filter all of its own drinking and wastewater. Energy models were used to determine the fenestration and shape of the building during design to maximize daylighting. Cooling is provided via an experimental radiant cooling system that runs water through roof panels at night and stores chilled water for use during the day.

Students who attend the Academy have the opportunity not only to study in a super sustainable building, but also learn from the technologies and systems inside. Direct connections to the outdoors are made available with outdoor teaching/learning areas, which provide inspiring views of the nearby Mauna Kea Volcano and the volcanic landscape creeping towards the ocean to the west. Being surrounded by such inspirational landscape as well as the super sustainable teaching facility is sure to provide our next generation with a great education in sustainability, encouraging them to make a difference.

+ Flansburgh Architects

Via ArchDaily

Photo credit ©Flansburgh Architects


or your inhabitat account below


  1. polaris kyo July 1, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Definitely jealous! +_+

  2. dano June 28, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    The design was by the architects but credit for the conceptual design goes to Dr. Bill Wiecking, who runs the Energy Lab and the computer lab. More details about the Energy Lab are and . Watch the video for more about what he envisions it to be and what it teaches. “We shape our buildings and our buildings shape us.” Note also that if you are on Hawai’i you can go on a tour of the lab.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home